While campus is just a stones’ throw down the road, a new push is under way to encourage students at Southwestern Michigan College, especially those living on campus, to visit and shop Dowagiac.
“A joint committee of the college and Chamber of Commerce, formed in January, is spearheading a three-prong approach to bring college students more in touch with Dowagiac businesses,” said Chamber president Kim MacGregor of Edward Jones.
MacGregor said a Job Fair is being planned by the college for late-April or early-May. Dowagiac and Sister Lakes businesses that have interest in participating in the two-hour showcase should contact Joe Odenwald, vice president of Student Services at 782-1310.
“This is a great opportunity for businesses that are looking to hire additional summer staff to interview potential candidates,” MacGregor said. Participation in the job fair is open to businesses free of charge.
The joint committee is also lining up businesses this spring that would like to provide SMC students with a special discount on the services or merchandise they provide. MacGregor said stores and restaurants will be given an emblem to display in their storefront window, letting students know they are a participating site. To obtain the 10-percent discount, individuals will show their student identification card.
Chamber members who would like to participate in the program should call the Chamber of Commerce at 782.8212 to sign up. Window emblems will be distributed to the host sites later this spring, when the discount program is launched.
MacGregor said the committee is also spearheading a special downtown event on Thursday, Sept. 6, to welcome students back to college. The four-hour event will feature music, food and a downtown scavenger hunt, to acquaint in-coming students with the business community and what it offers.
Committee members representing the college include: Joe Odenwald, vice president of Student Services; Jeff Hooks, director of Student Housing; and Brandon Pompey, assistant manager of the Student Activities Center.
In addition to MacGregor, Chamber representatives include Jordan Anderson, owner of The Baker’s Rhapsody; Jim Frazier, owner of Vincent J. Jewelers; Melissa Gunn, owner of Deck the Halls; and Schantel Myers of Chemical Bank.